Course Selection

The 220+ available courses at St. Johnsbury Academy require a disciplined approach to course selection and the help of experienced counselors. Our semester-based schedule allows ample time to try new things, and we encourage students to follow their interests while at the same time keeping in mind graduation requirements and future plans.

Graduation Requirements

In order to be granted a diploma by St. Johnsbury Academy, a student must complete four years of study, and accumulate 26 credits.


Senior Capstone 1 credit

English 4 credits (One Credit earned
from Freshman Humanities)

Science 3 credits

Mathematics 3 credits

Social Studies 3 credits (Humanities, US History (Junior Year),
US Government (Senior Year)
Physical Education 1 1/2 credits

Computer Literacy 1/2 credit

Critical Skills 1 credit

Underclassmen must take eight blocks of study for the year. Seniors must take seven.

St. Johnsbury Academy will not accelerate graduation. Students must achieve four calendar years of resident study in a high school in order to qualify for graduation.

Grade Progression

The Academy is a four-year institution. Students normally progress from the ninth through the twelfth grades and finally to graduation by accumulating credits through successfully passing courses of study. The age of a student does not determine grade placement; the number of credits that the student has accumulated is the determining factor. Students enrolling after grade nine will receive a credit evaluation which will include the specific classes and number of credits needed to meet graduation requirements. At any point in the student’s progression through the Academy, if the student does not accumulate the requisite number of credits to advance to the next class, he will remain in the same class until accumulating enough credits to be promoted to the next class. Some students who fall behind are able to make up missed credits and graduate in four years.

Ability Grouping

Because we are a comprehensive school, we admit students whose intellectual capacities and abilities span a wide range. We believe that students learn best when the material that they are required to learn is presented in a form and at a degree of difficulty matched to their abilities. In nearly all of our academic departments, students are homogeneously grouped; that is, they are placed in instructional sections with students of similar abilities and academic preparation.

All of our academic departments offer courses at four levels of instruction: basic, standard, accelerated, and Advanced Placement. Students who are placed at the basic level have demonstrated a need for instruction in the basic skills required to learn the material of the course. Further, they frequently possess less information than their peers. Students who are placed at the standard level of a course have demonstrated average ability and skills. They possess threshold skills and are sufficiently versed in requisite information to be successful in this college preparatory curriculum. Students who are placed in the accelerated level of a course have demonstrated advanced skills and possess considerably more information than most students. They have also demonstrated the ability to learn more quickly than their peers. Students are placed in various levels of instruction after careful study of standardized tests they have taken, recommendations of teachers and guidance personnel in the schools from which they came to us, and consultations with each Academy department chair. Students are not placed automatically at a given level of instruction in any department simply because they are in that level of instruction in another department. It is quite common at the Academy for students to be placed at different levels of instruction within different departments. Further, it is the aim of the basic courses at the Academy to equip the students to move to standard levels of instruction as soon as possible. Department personnel meet regularly to make sure that students are appropriately placed.